Last week marked the 41st anniversary of the deployment of United Nations Forces in Lebanon.
Ireland was one of the first countries to contribute to UNIFIL in 1978 and its commitment to the UN operation both there and globally has been steadfast ever sincet.
Many Irish peacekeepers along with those from other contributing states have been killed during the decades long deployment.
Ireland recently increased the Defence Force deployment to take up a shortfall caused by the withdrawal of a Finnish detachment.
On 15the March just days before the 41st anniversary Ireland’s Defence Minister Paul Kehoe visited the Irish detachment and told them:
“I am truly delighted to be here today. On behalf of myself and the Irish Government, I want to extend my gratitude to you for the tasks you are undertaking here to contribute to the peace and security of the region.
“What you do here, on an ongoing basis, turns into reality our words of commitment to peacekeeping and to progress in the region. Your commitment, service and loyalty to the traditions of the Defence Forces on overseas service contribute extensively to the high regard in which Ireland and indeed Irish peacekeepers are held throughout the world.”
Image: Ireland’s Defence Minister Paul Kehoe TD inspects Honour Guard accompanied by Lt Deirdre Fahy